Monday, November 05, 2007

Today I had to report for jury duty. This is only the second time I've been called for jury duty in the 27 years since I registered to vote. The last time (also my first ever time) was also in this county and State about 10 years ago. Last time I was in several jury pools and then discarded during voire dire. This time I sat for several hours. I was sorted into a pool of 55 jurors for a criminal trial but we never left the jury pool room and were dismissed in the early afternoon.

I went in cheerfully even though $15 isn't close to my daily wage and I don't get paid if I'm not at work. During our orientation all the jurors watched a movie about the jury and trial process which concluded with effusive comments on the responsibility and importance of juries in our legal system. I almost choked! Last time, I was on the jury for a murder trial. The jury found the defendant innocent (the case was not properly prosecuted) but a few monthes later the prosecutor called me at home to say that our jury had done a terrible job (Good grief!) and the judge had set aside our verdict and sentenced the defendant to hefty prison time. The prosecutor also told me (quite inappropriately) information about the defendant that had not been made known to the jury during the trial. After the prosecutor called, I reported him to the State's Attorney but I never heard anything else about him. It made me think today - Why the heck would I sit on a jury if the judge is allowed to set aside the correctly discerned verdict of a jury of peers for his or her own opinion? Why bother with the constitutional niceties? Nevertheless I stayed and waited my turn. I got a lot of sock knitted; I was hoping to finish it because it matched my ouitfit better than the orange striped socks I threw on in the car. It was chilly this morning!

I finished one Christmas present hat. I have the yarn and pattern for one Christmas present top and I have started on a Christmas present pink hoodie with skull.

Mmmm, dinner smells good! We are having meatloaf, baked sweet potatoes, and salad. The children will have some of their huge Halloween candy stash.

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